Thursday, September 4, 2008

LitLife Professional Development

Summer recess is certainly over and it's back to the good work of the district on a number of fronts. On Thursday, over 20 Hoboken District faculty were involved in professional development training for the incorporation of LitLife into our curriculum. A unique aspect of the relationship between LitLife and the Hoboken School District is the long term (1 year), ongoing, and systemic nature of the professional development. LitLife is a program centered on the teaching of reading and writing- an area of great importance to the success of any middle grade student since so many other subjects (science, mathematics, history, etc...) are centered around the child's ability to read and comprehend text. Experts in professional development in reading and writing will be in the district on a regular and ongoing basis. Research shows that professional development needs to be long term, systemic and ongoing (Darling-Hammond and Bransford, 2006*). LitLife has developed an adopt/adapt/create model of professional development. Teachers need to have access to information, and opportunities to invest in the creation of their own curriculum and planning. Learning is not linear: it often takes surprising turns, and goes in many directions. LitLife helps to focus learning, create calendars and design curriculum not only for student learning, but for teacher (adult) learning too. The work of LitLife is in conjunction with and will be incorporated into the revised curriculum.

*Preparing Teachers for a Changing World: What Teachers Should Learn and Be Able to Do. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2005. Recipient of the Pomeroy Award, American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, 2006.